An Expanded Cinema Project by Daniel Fawcett & Clara Pais

Phantom Films are the phantom limbs of the body of cinema, the images that linger in the mind after the movie is over, the narrative threads that seep into our thoughts and become the frameworks around which we weave the story of our own lives and the world of our own fantasies. We see cinema not only as a medium but also as a language and this language is not restricted to images moving on a screen, it can manifest beyond the frame in many forms.

The Phantom Film project exists in all the forms that spring out from the world of the films but never as a single screen film. Phantom Films are movies but they manifest beyond the cinema screen as live performances, books, sculpture, installation, sound recordings and photography.

On the 4th May 2016 we presented the first in a series of Phantom Film performances, REHEARSAL FOR A PHANTOM FILM, a 45 min expanded cinema performance in which fragments of narrative collide with the process of preparing and creating a film. Actions performed both on screen and by live performers occur simultaneously as if the world of the films has burst out of the frame in a ritual to bring to life screen-spectres and cine-phantoms. Info and stills here.

We have also recently completed a book of poetry called THE LOST FILMS OF ATLAS DAVENPORT, Words For A Phantom Film and are working on an accompanying recording, called THE LOST FILMS OF ATLAS DAVENPORT, Soundtrack For A Phantom Film, which will be released as a limited edition record.

We are currently preparing our next performance, RESTORATION OF A PHANTOM FILM. This performance uses multi-screen projection, live feeds, performance, live sound effects and music to explore the process of restoring something lost. Grasping at narrative fragments, we attempt to give voice to the forgotten spirits of cinema and to confront and banish destructive forces through a cine-exorcism. The act of archiving and restoration becomes a mystical quest in which we seek to unearth the new narrative potentials hidden in the discarded fragments of cinema’s debris.


A Series of Live Cine-Rituals

The SACRIFICIUM INTELLECTUS SUITE is a series of twenty two cine-ritual performances by artists Daniel Fawcett & Clara Pais which use video projection, ritual actions, dance, sound and music. Each performance will only take place once and never be repeated but each time giving birth to the one that will follow. Actions and characters are carried forth into the next performance so that the past leaves traces in the present.

SACRIFICIUM INTELLECTUS I was created in collaboration with dancers Joana Castro and Bruno Senune and percussionist João Pais Filipe. It took place at Palácio das Artes in Porto, on 14th May 2016. Info and stills here.

SACRIFICIUM INTELLECTUS II deals with a sense of absence, and it is a ritual of confronting what is lost, not as a way of clinging to it or trying to bring it back but as a path to accepting its absence. In this performance the debris of the past becomes the fertile ground from which something new can emerge. SACRIFICIUM INTELLECTUS II took place on 7th June, at EmContraste in Porto, Portugal, in collaboration with dancer Joana Castro and percussionist João Pais Filipe. Info and stills here.